Liner Notes

WMOT Liner Notes is a place for music lovers to catch up on album releases, live video streams and behind the scenes news. 

Photo by Sophia Lauer

Nashville native Savannah Conley was born into a musical family; her mom a background singer and her dad a busy touring and studio musician. She released an ep independently in 2017, the year after receiving the John Lennon singer-songwriter award. Grammy winning producer Dave Cobb took notice, signed her to his Elektra Records imprint Low Country Sound and they released Twenty-Twenty her major label debut in 2018 when she was just 21 years old.


Hartland Hootenanny, the wildly sincere and sincerely wild weekly variety show created by Old Crow Medicine Show’s Ketch Secor, will leap off the internet and onto the radio airwaves of WMOT 89.5 FM for a limited run starting August 8 at 8 pm CST.


Several Nashville artists and a large slate of roots and improvising musicians are celebrating Jerry Garcia in a nine-day online extravaganza called Daze Between, a fund-raiser for the Rex Foundation, the charity arm founded by the Grateful Dead in 1984. A variety of new and archival performances, as well as interviews and recollections, are being streamed from late afternoon into the evening daily through Aug. 9. A complete schedule can be found here.

Alaina Broyles

Skylar Gregg exudes retro southern rock ‘n soul mixed with the country and blues sounds of the 60s and 70s. I first heard Skylar’s voice as a background singer on a few stages around Nashville, but she’s been writing and performing in this town for most of her life. Her sound was born out of a musical family, her parents came to Nashville both to pursue music careers. She worked with Nashville multi-instrumentalist and producer Jon Estes on her new album, Roses, a departure from her previous two releases which she produced with her husband, Taylor Lonardo at their home studio.

Boudica Photography

The Danberrys are Nashville husband and wife duo, Dorothy Daniel and Ben DeBerry. I first heard Dorothy’s commanding voice and Ben’s picking during a Grateful Dead tribute show at the 5 Spot several years back and I was drawn to their sound and pleased to discover their original music. Their new album, Shine was produced by drummer Marco Giovino (Band of Joy, Patty Griffin, Buddy Miller) and executive produced by Brian Brinkerhoff and it’s out today.

Courtesy of the Artist

Fresh songs from Grant-Lee Phillips and Bobby Rush, a stellar debut by S.G. Goodman, and an All-Star cast joins Ray Wylie Hubbard.

Philadelphia station WXPN cancelled their annual XPoNential Music Festival, normally held in late July. Instead of the in person festival, WXPN has been replaying sets from past festivals throughout the summer.

The XPoNential Music Festival Summer Celebration closes with a weekend long celebration from Friday, July 24th through Sunday, July 26th.

Shawna Caldwell

Part of what I love about being a DJ at WMOT is the consistent new music discovery. Dan O’Rourke reached out to me for airplay consideration on The Local Brew Hour, WMOT’s weekly local music show, with what he described as a very timely, cultural song. “For That Matter” knocked me out. I had to hear it again immediately. After many listens, it steered me to Dan’s previous releases. His 2019 album, Desert Rose reflects his passion for the history and beauty of the southwest and Traveling Soul is a six-song ep, released in 2016.

Zach Pigg

Another exciting week in Americana music with new albums from Blackberry Smoke, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, and new singles from Joan Osborne, Molly Tuttle, The Avett Brothers, and Mary Chapin Carpenter.

Friday was the release date for the brilliant new Jayhawks album, XOXO. This one is deep and rich with that glorious Jayhawks sound with memorable hooks and harmonies and tunes. Gary Louris commented, “The Jayhawks are a true band, one where everyone’s an equal, and we wanted to make a record that reflected that.”

Darin Back

Crystal Bowersox is a musician and a photographer and recently a seamstress, making masks for people to help stop the Covid spread. She’s been donating them and she even posted a video on how to make the masks on her Instagram account. Crystal’s songs have always pulled at the heart strings with stories of real life and real pain but of hope and brighter days as well. She just released a new song with a message of unity and kindness called “Courage To Be Kind” and she has a new full-length album, Hitchhiker due this fall.

Zach Smith Photography / Courtesy of French Quarter Festivals, Inc.

American Routes makes its WMOT debut Saturday, July 11 at 9 p.m. Every week host Nick Spitzer is our music expeditionary and together we examine the American experience through music. Seemingly divergent and discordant musical traditions are explored revealing the rich tapestry of American life.  “I feel like in the songs and stories that people are the narratives of both, you know, tragedy and triumph or comedy, and sorrow. And the styles reflect people's ability to listen, to sing, to dance, to dance in the street or in the dance hall.

Margo Price is celebrating the release of her new album, That’s How Rumors Get Started, with an initiative she’s calling “Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner!”.

Courtesty of the artist

Happy Independence Day weekend! Nashville’s Matt Lovell talks about feeling free after a long, sometimes dark and painful road to his debut full-length, Nobody Cries Today. It’s out now, but there was a time shortly after the songs were recorded four years ago, that he wasn’t so sure this album would ever see the light of day. On January 20, 2017 Matt Lovell was walking to his car when he happened upon someone trying to steal it. That sixteen-year-old then shot Matt in the chest.

Courtesy of the artist

New Singles from Charley Crockett, Joshua Ray Walker, a new album from Joe Ely, a new visual companion for Ondara and the Fisk Jubilee Singers celebrate 150 years of changing America.


Courtsey of the Artist

by ANA LEE ∙ JUNE 26, 2020

Val Hoeppner / WMOT

Will Hoge releases his album Tiny Little Movies today, June 26, 2020. The album includes the song "Thats How You Lose Her" for which Hoge and his band recorded a performance video during a WMOT East Iris Session February 25, 2020.

Today we premiere the video "That's How You Lose Her" and his Words and Music interview with Jessie Scott, recorded at his home in Nashville.

Kalen & Aslyn “Don’t Take It Out On Me”

You might not know their names under this new moniker, Kalen & Aslyn, but you just might be familiar with their music. Kalen enjoyed his first national notoriety with the psychedelic Southern Rock band Ponderosa, while Aslyn was a solo artist with a Top 40 single, “Lemon Love.” The duo met in Atlanta, where Kalen & Aslyn launched the synth-pop duo Dega. Kalen & Aslyn bring a new album on July 10th, Back of Our Minds, which brings a California country sensibility to a set of emotionally honest, gossamer spun tunes. 

Courtesty of the Artist

Another stunning week of new releases headlined by a new album by Will Hoge, a new addition to the Great American Song Book by Old Crow Medicine Show, an album 46 years in the making by Neil Young, and new singles by the Allman Betts Band and the Old 97’s.

The Americana Music Association today offered its first look at this Fall’s annual gathering, starting with a new name. AmericanaFest has been recast as an online suite of events called Thriving Roots: A Virtual Community Music Conference and set for Sept. 16-18. The AMA is leaning in to high profile guest speakers and panelists to add value, announcing appearances by Rosanne Cash, John Leventhal, Mavis Staples, Jackson Browne, Rhiannon Giddens and T Bone Burnett to start. 

Diane Russo

Americana legends and luminaries release moving and inspiring work this week, including a new album by Norah Jones, a new single and lyric video by Shemekia Copeland, a new video from Lori McKenna, a tribute to John Hartford by Leftover Salmon and Nick Lowe, Paul Carrack and Bill Kirchen unfurl a rendition of a Merle Haggard classic.



The Mavericks have become quite the force of nature since they reunited back in 2012. And they have been checking ‘must do’ things off their list, like going to Cuba to make the PBS special Havana Time Machine, and starting their own label and management company. The latest wish fulfillment is recording a Spanish Language/Latin Music album En Espanol. Of course, Tex Mex and Tejano have always factored into their rich tapestry of sonics. It is an American melting pot, as is the band itself.

India RameyShallow Graves – September 4, 2020
“King of the Ashes” single release ­­∙ June 12, 2020

 A native of Rome, Georgia, India Ramey cut her musical teeth writing songs and leading a band in Alabama at night, while she was a district attorney in the daytime working mostly with women in abusive situations. It’s no wonder she’s delivered an album aimed at injustice. Shallow Graves is out September 4th, the first single, “King of the Ashes” is out today.

The Americana Music Association confirmed on Thursday that AmericanaFest 2020, scheduled for Sept. 15-20 has been cancelled. At the same time, it teased some virtual events that it plans to announce next week.